My bunny plays dead

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Rescuemom, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Aug 8, 2012 #1

    Rescuemom

    Rescuemom

    Rescuemom

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Yep... You read that right. He plays dead! Now the trick is to make it on command!

    I came downstairs and was on my way to let my puppies out for their morning pee break when I looked over at Crush's cage as I often do. I love giving him nose rubs on my way past and he loves nose rubs. But I noticed something was... off. He was sprawled out across the floor of his cage, flat, and well, he looked like those dead bunnies you see on the side of the road!

    My heart instantly went into jackhammer mode. I was panicking.

    What had I done wrong?
    Had he been ill and I not notice?
    Did something give him a heart attack?
    What?!

    So I scraped my nails against the side of the cage in tiny hope that he would still be okay...

    Here's some backstory to my panic with such things. One of my snakes grew ill and passed away - there was nothing that could be done because it happened so suddenly. My leopard gecko grew old and passed away from old age. I also had to put my old Rottweiler to sleep last year too - all within six months of each other(how horrible does that make me sound? I love old animals..). But that isn't even the worst of it! My mothers Rottweiler Regan had had a litter of puppies. Six puppies. Two surviving birth alone. The one was named Chili - and he was a little monster. The other was Angel, her mother rejected her instantly, and she got aspiration pneumonia. She passed away in my hands. Stopped breathing and in an instant, was still. I brought her back. This happened about six-ten times as we rushed her to the ER Vet who told us because of what was happening, it was likely she lacked oxygen to the brain long enough that she would have brain damage if we kept her alive. The chances of her living were slim... We said our goodbyes and had her euthanized.

    But that STILL sticks with me, seeing her sprawled in my hands, not breathing, and stiff as a board. It was the most unreal thing I have ever experienced, and yet, so real at the same time.

    I've panicked when seeing my DOG lay a certain way!

    So naturally, this tripped me up. As I scraped my nails on his cage, nothing. He didn't move. Normally he eagerly comes over in hopes of a treat. So then the panic got worse. I stared at him, wondering what went wrong, where I went wrong. Only to notice the hairs on his side moving. He was breathing! So I gave the cage a gentle push and tapped my hand on it and he instantly hopped right up to check out wth I was doing. And how dare I wake him from such a good snooze!

    To say the least, I'm extremely happy to relate that he is FINE! And I need to calm down. He's still displeased with me, lol... But he did get some nose rubs in apology.
     
  2. Aug 8, 2012 #2

    MyBabyHasPaws

    MyBabyHasPaws

    MyBabyHasPaws

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    LOL! Bugsy has done that to me a few times... it really freaks me out!!!! He doesnt wake up until I pet him.. sheesh... glad it was only a scare!! :)
     
  3. Aug 8, 2012 #3

    JjGoesBounce

    JjGoesBounce

    JjGoesBounce

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Messages:
    933
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    NoWhere, British Columbia, Canada
    It's called a dead bunny flop! It means they are extremely happy and relaxed! It's a great thing to have your bunny play "dead".
    My bunnies don't move until I poke them or go "Oh my gosh! AAAAHHH!" They then look at me like "Ugh, I was happy! >:)"

    Jj
     
  4. Aug 8, 2012 #4

    Apebull

    Apebull

    Apebull

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    636
    Likes Received:
    213
    Location:
    Riverside, California, USA
    Twigs will only do dead bunny if it's super quiet in the house. The second anyone moves or makes a noise he jumps up.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2012 #5

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Larry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,476
    Likes Received:
    818
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    Ted used to sleep at least 21 hours a day--I used to watch and see if he was still breathing. Nikki is almost as bad.
     
  6. Aug 8, 2012 #6

    Rescuemom

    Rescuemom

    Rescuemom

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    163
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Well, I'm certainly glad my bunny is happy and relaxed at the expense of my sanity! Lol. Seriously though, glad to know I must be doing something right that he's happy. He's so lazy though..
     
  7. Aug 9, 2012 #7

    BunBuns Human

    BunBuns Human

    BunBuns Human

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida, USA
    Sadly, BunBun has had a number of disappointments since he showed up in my back yard last October.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Aug 9, 2012 #8

    SweetPeasMom

    SweetPeasMom

    SweetPeasMom

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mallorytown, Ontario, Canada
    Apebull wrote:
    Mine too!! scared me the first time, but now its cool
     
  9. Aug 9, 2012 #9

    MiniLopHop

    MiniLopHop

    MiniLopHop

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    4,422
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    Paoli, Pennsylvania, USA
    Wow, Bun Bun really does look dead in thoes pictures, particularly in the top one!

    Becky is a very sound sleeper so now I know to check for breathing before I go and shake her in a panic. She gets so mad I get thumped if I wake her up. :)
     
  10. Aug 9, 2012 #10

    MyBabyHasPaws

    MyBabyHasPaws

    MyBabyHasPaws

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Miami, Florida, USA
    I love seeing pix of BunBun, they always have captions that crack me up lol
     
  11. Aug 9, 2012 #11

    patches2593

    patches2593

    patches2593

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    381
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    , , USA
    JjGoesBounce wrote:
    yep. my rabbit does it too. almost any happy bunny will do it. my rabbit does dead bunny flops and meltdowns:biggrin:
     
  12. Aug 9, 2012 #12

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Larry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Messages:
    15,476
    Likes Received:
    818
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
    BTW, that's Nikki our dead bunny avatar, sound asleep on her back, feet in the air and mouth open. She's strange!
     
  13. Aug 10, 2012 #13

    ldoerr

    ldoerr

    ldoerr

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    1,750
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Brenham and Spring, Texas, USA
    Now that I have read what everyone has said about their bunnies playing dead, I think that Beauty plays dead sometimes. She will be all spraled out in her cage. I do feel horible for not going over and checking on her (I never have). I always thought that it was because she might be a little bit warm. (even though I keep my apt at 70*F [dont ask]). She is 1/2 doing it now and she does not seem warm.
     
  14. Aug 12, 2012 #14

    BunBuns Human

    BunBuns Human

    BunBuns Human

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, Florida, USA
    MyBabyHasPaws wrote:
    Thanks. BunBun is quite a ham.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Aug 13, 2012 #15

    Mandeville

    Mandeville

    Mandeville

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Woodlands, Texas, USA
    Mandeville does that every day. The 1st time I saw her like this my heart dropped.

    A pic of her sleeping dead :biggrin:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Aug 13, 2012 #16

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,314
    Likes Received:
    592
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    my cat died a little over a year and a half ago... when I went to bed, she was fine; when I woke up, she was dead. it broke my heart, as I'd had her ever since she was a 3-month old baby. she slept in bed with me most nights (not that one, though) and was absurdly attached to me/terrified of anyone else.

    I didn't get another pet until three weeks ago, when I adopted two little bunnies... longest stretch of my entire life that I've gone without having at least one pet. about a week after I brought them home, I found my little holland lop playing dead and it scared the heck out of me! I couldn't have been more relieved when I touched the side of the cage and she jumped up.
     
  17. Aug 14, 2012 #17

    whitelop

    whitelop

    whitelop

    Morgan

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,927
    Likes Received:
    507
    Location:
    York, South Carolina, USA
    Sometimes I'll stare at my bun for a solid 10 minutes just to make sure shes breathing. And sometimes if I can't tell I have to tap the cage. I love when she jumps up and looks disoriented and her ears are all over the place, it makes me laugh. Sometimes my friends go in the kitchen and yell "oh my god! your rabbit's dead!" I usually laugh really hard, because she is such a hard sleeper! I didn't know if it was normal or not, but I guess it is!
     
  18. Aug 14, 2012 #18

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,314
    Likes Received:
    592
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    my lionhead actually stretched out into the "dead bunny" pose last night with me sitting 2-3 feet away. I took it as a compliment that she got so comfy around me :D

    wanted to get a picture, but as usual I forgot to bring the camera with me into the bunnies' room and I knew as soon as I started moving, she'd get up :(
     
  19. Sep 22, 2012 #19

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,314
    Likes Received:
    592
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, USA
    got a good one of Gaz playing dead in the condo today...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Sep 22, 2012 #20

    CosmosMomma

    CosmosMomma

    CosmosMomma

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, USA
    Gazzles is such a goof!

    I've never seen Cosmo do dead bunny :( He barely binkies around me, and never lays next to me when he's out.
     

Share This Page